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The 11 Worst Things People Do In Class

I’m not perfect. I will be the first to admit that I have my flaws, but I pride myself on a few things and one of those things is that I have never sat in the front of a lecture and just watched Netflix. When I come to class, I either pay attention and take notes or if I’m gonna be on Pinterest all hour I do so in the back of the class to not distract those sitting behind me. I know the freedom of being in college is exciting, and there aren’t really any rules about how you should behave in class. But, there are some things that are truly awful. Here are the worst things people can do in class, in no particular order.


1. Tapping during exams

Listen, I know exams are stressful, but you do not need to do an entire percussion rendition of Hamilton in the middle of our Bio exam. Please quiet yourself.


2. Mansplaining

We’ve all been there, sitting in a discussion section, just trying to get your 20% participation grade, talking about sexism in the medical field when some bro decides he has more knowledge than you do through lived experience. Suddenly you and the other 15 women in the class (because it’s BU and there are no boys anywhere) are all exchanging eye rolls while this guy talks about how “maybe women are over exaggerating” and “but actually, the real victims here are men.”


3. Talking during lecture

Okay I get it your weekend was super fun and Chad from Sigma Apple Pie looked mad hot at the Athletes’ and Mathletes’ party on Saturday, but just like text each other about it, or whisper, or literally anything quieter than a full volume convo.


4. Popping your gum

This is also usually done during exams. Chewing gum helps you focus. I get that, but don’t pop your gum.


5. Reading out loud

I don’t care how quiet you think you are, people can hear you reading and it is distracting and stressful.


6. Watching TV on your laptop

March Madness is here and I know your bracket is, like, super important, but just check the scores online. If you want to watch Netflix during class time, just cut class and do it from the comfort of your bed.


7. Stealing my seat

There are no assigned seats in college; I know that, you know that, everyone knows that. But if I am sitting somewhere for thirteen classes in a row do not take my seat on exam day. These people are often the ones who only show up to class for exams which I have no problem with, but don’t sit in my seat.


8. Asking personal questions in the middle of class

I’m all for asking questions; if you don’t understand something, ask the professor, that’s what they’re there for, but keep it general. Something like, “So you said on my last exam I wasn’t clear enough, can you explain that to me?” is something that should be discussed in office hours, not lecture.


9. Leaving the sound on your phone or laptop

First of all, if your phone is ever on sound instead of vibrate in class I don’t trust you, but your computer is just as bad. Every time you get a text, your computer dings. How does this not upset you?


10. Eating obnoxious food

Snack to your heart’s content! I eat in class literally all the time, but please snack quietly! No one wants to hear the crinkle of wrappers all throughout lecture when we’re trying to learn about the parts of a neuron.


11. Showing up more than 15 minutes late and then proceeding to climb over people to get to a seat

I once had a professor that locked the door after 15 minutes. It was a little harsh, but she didn’t take attendance so she figured if you wanted to be there you should be there on time. I am five minutes late to my 9 am almost every day, (I try not to be) but the shuttle is slow and I’m only human. If you’re late sneak in and sit in the back. It’s merely a common courtesy.


This is not an exhaustive list, and the general rule of thumb for classroom annoyance is this: if you are disrupting and distracting people they will be annoyed. Nobody is perfect, we’ve all done a few things on this list, but just try to be considerate of the other kids in your classes just trying not to fail.

Sophie is a junior at Boston University studying Psychology and Education. When she isn't memorizing parts of the brain or writing papers on the philosophies of teaching, she likes to dance, shop, and obsess over her pet rabbit.
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